São Paulo communities struggling after flood
Feb. 23, 2023
Hundreds of São Paulo state residents in a flood affected coastal area were scrambling to find water and daily supplies after mudslides cut off their communities over the weekend and killed at least 48 people. (Associated Press)
Salvadoran journalist Julia Gavarrete was awarded the Ortega and Gasset prize for best journalistic investigation for her piece in El Faro on a woman who was processed (and absolved) for terrorist association and her peripatetic existence under El Salvador’s ongoing state of exception. (El País)
The death of an 8-year-old Nicaraguan kid, Jefferson Rodríguez in a Wisconsin dairy farm in July 2019, is at the center of a story co-published by El Faro and ProPublica.
It talks about “a broken immigration system that makes it difficult for people to come here [to the United States] even as entire industries depend on their labor, small farms that largely go unexamined by safety inspectors, and a law enforcement system that’s ill-equipped to serve people who don’t speak English.”
A campaign against a planned local human rights memorial in Chile “is one more skirmish in a larger and prolonged national battle for memory that has been ramping up” ahead of the fiftieth anniversary of the 1973 coup against Salvador Allende approaches, writes Ariel Dorfman in The Nation. “In Chile, as in the rest of the world, the way in which a nation understands its most traumatic past is constantly determining its deepest identity, the sort of future it imagines for its children.”
Mexico’s Senate approved a reform of the country’s electoral institute, yesterday. Opponents say the move will undermine electoral independence. The legislative initiative, known as “Plan B”, was proposed by the president in December after he did not obtain enough votes in Congress for a constitutional reform that carried deeper electoral changes. (Associated Press)
Lawmakers voted 72-50 in favor of the controversial overhaul of the body overseeing Mexico’s elections. Opponents immediately said they will challenge the changes in the supreme court. Protests are planned in multiple cities.
Liberal democracy in Mexico is under assault by AMLO argues David Frum in the Atlantic.
Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said he hopes that former top law enforcement official Genaro García Luna, convicted of colluding with drug cartels this week, will cooperate with U.S. prosecutors and perhaps implicate former Mexican presidents. (Associated Press, see yesterday’s post)
García Luna’s trial in the U.S. “was ultimately underwhelming, revealing little about how the U.S. government and other Mexican politicians are implicated in the war on drugs,” according to The Intercept. (See yesterday’s post.)
Tomás Zerón, a former Mexican official accused of orchestrating a cover-up of the infamous 2014 disappearance of 43 students from Ayotzinapa, is unlikely to be extradited from Israel, where he now lives, reports the New York Times.
Evan Ellis argues that the Caribbean has particular strategic importance for China due to its geographic proximity to the U.S., its importance as a financial and logistics hub, and proportion of countries recognizing Taiwan. Because of this, the Caribbean receives significant focus from China, relative to the region’s population and economic size. (See today’s Just Caribbean Updates.)
Colombia and Bolivia will jointly ask the United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs to remove coca leaves from its list of prohibited substances and accept the plant's traditional uses, reports Reuters.
U.S. attorneys asked a California judge to revoke the bail of former Peruvian President Alejandro Toledo and prepare for his extradition to Peru, where he is wanted on corruption charges, reports AFP.
Peruvian protesters have temporarily lifted blockades of a key mining highway in the country's south, reports Reuters.
“What’s making Peruvians angry isn’t economics, it’s politics. And when you look at Peru’s politics, the thing that jumps out at you is the collapse of its political party system,” argues Francisco Toro in Persuasion.
Honduran President Xiomara Castro’s commitment to creating a United Nations-backed anti-corruption body, a key campaign promise, has been increasingly questioned by experts, writes Jeff Abbott in the Progressive.
Conservative firebrand María Corina Machado hopes to become Venezuela’s opposition presidential candidate — to do so “she needs to convince followers of a fractured coalition dominated by leftist parties that a right-winger who wants to privatize the oil industry is the best person to end” Chavismo, reports Bloomberg.
Guyana Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo lashed out at the Amerindian Peoples Association for its criticisms of government’s handling of the carbon credit sale initiative it has embarked on. (Kaieteur News, see today’s Just Caribbean Updates)
Argentina’s governing coalition lost four senators yesterday, weakening the Fernández administration’s influence in the Senate just six months before high-stakes general elections, reports Reuters.
Over 1,000 passenger buses were caught smuggling contraband goods in Bolivia last year — evidence of the increasingly prevalent practise of “Ant contraband” (contrabando hormiga), whereby goods are illegally smuggled by individuals on a small scale, reports InSight Crime.
A marijuana harvest festival in a region of Paraguay usually known for drug trafficking has sparked legalization hopes among local farmers, reports Reuters.